Full Text as prepared for delivery, inaugural speech of Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui, Dec. 1, 2014:
Governor Ige, Chief Justice Recktenwald, Senator Akaka, former governors, distinguished justices of the court, representatives of our Congressional Delegation, county mayors, members of the Hawaii State Legislature, other elected officials, representatives of our armed forces, honored guests and all who call Hawaii home, aloha.
Before I begin, I would like to thank the many volunteers involved in planning this event, and to all of the performers for making this day so special.
What an honor and privilege it is to be here with you on this momentous day. For me, my family, and for everyone who is and will be a part of this new administration…having been born and raised on Maui, I am a product of modest beginnings and a tight-knit community, and in some ways, participating in today’s events is really extraordinary. In 1907, my great grandfather moved to Maui with the hope of building a brighter future for himself and his family. Working on the plantation, they provided my grandparents, then my parents, and now me with greater and better opportunities. Like so many others, my family realized quickly that Hawaii was an amazing place to live, work, and raise a family. But it is only because of my family’s foresight and tremendous sacrifices that I stand here today, humbled and deeply honored to have this opportunity to serve as your Lieutenant Governor.
Yet, my story is similar to most of you……one generation making it better for the next, where values and work ethic define who we are as individuals, and collectively it defines who we are as a community.
While today marks the culmination of the values and hard work of so many of you who have supported me and Governor Ige throughout the election season, we all know that it is only the beginning of a new journey that we will now take together. And as we begin this journey today, I’m filled with a great sense of hope…. hope for the future of Hawaii.
Having traveled throughout the State, I have seen the strengths of our communities, big and small, on all the islands. I have seen the Hawaiian tradition of people treating each other with respect and kindness and embracing the spirit of aloha. I’m confident that together we will navigate through contentious issues and that together WE WILL move our State forward and continue to build that better, brighter future that our ancestors before us were seeking.
Like Governor Ige, I am driven by a profound gratitude and devotion to my family. Growing up, my parents instilled in me a strong sense of responsibility to my family and friends, my community, my State and my country. It is because of their values, generosity and support that my wife, Lyndelle, and I feel the same sense of responsibility to teach our three daughters, those same values.
In Hawaii, our greatest assets are our people and the incredible Aloha spirit that only Hawaii people can share with one another. It’s the people who matter most and that make the most difference. No matter how diverse our backgrounds, we share a similar set of values and hopes for our lives and the lives of our families. As simple as it is, we should never forget about people, and about how our actions and decisions affect one another.
Beginning today, Governor Ige and I will work collaboratively to help create a better Hawaii…from making sure that our keiki receive a quality education, to caring for the needs of the Kupuna who raised us.
We live this experience along with you, each day, and we know that more can be done.
Together we will work hard to make life just a little bit easier for you and your family.
Together we will meet the challenges of creating a better tomorrow.
Together we will be united in the spirit of aloha and embrace the uniqueness of our State.
In closing, I would like to thank my family, my parents, my in-laws, and especially my wife Lyndelle and my daughters, Mikalya, Kaylee, and Kenna . . . mahalo for your patience, faith, and love.
And mahalo and aloha to all of you here today. We are overwhelmed and so blessed by your support and confidence. We will work hard for you each day to earn your respect and aloha. May God Bless all of you. May God continue to bless our great state, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.